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Author Topic: Could we make a circuit of flowing muons?  (Read 2784 times)

Bob Parkinson

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Could we make a circuit of flowing muons?
« on: 23/06/2010 18:30:02 »
Bob Parkinson  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Scientists,

Given that muons carry charge like electrons, is it possible to conceive of making some type of electronic or electrical (muonic or muonical) circuit from muons or other charged particle?

I believe electricity flows because of  electrons bouncing along (somehow!) a conducting wire, that has "space" for the electrons to, well, bounce. I guess it would need some exotic metamaterial to allow muons to bounce along happily? Your thoughts would be appreciated,

Cheers,

Bob

Bob Parkinson, Nottingham.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 23/06/2010 18:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline lightarrow

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Could we make a circuit of flowing muons?
« Reply #1 on: 23/06/2010 20:02:16 »
The only thing I can say is that, at the same kinetic energy, the muon's De Broglie wavelenght is sqrt(200) times smaller than that of the electron, because the muon's mass is 200 times greater (it's a very approximate computation). Don't know how this affect the muon-material interaction.
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Could we make a circuit of flowing muons?
« Reply #2 on: 23/06/2010 23:21:03 »
Electrons flow in circuits because they are loosely bound to their metallic atoms.  It is possible to create the muon equivalent of a hydrogen atom but the muonic equivalent of a more complex atom is probably not feasible because of the limited life of the particle which would not I believe be altered by forming an atom with it. so the muonic equivalent of a metal does not exist and therefore the concepts of muons flowing in wires is not on.  of course beams of muons in a vacuum have the same current flowing properties as beams of electrons but that is not what you wanted. the muon is the most stable of all the possible negatively charged particles. other negative particles have even shorter lives before decay.

Of course in an anti matter universe it would be possible to have positrons in stable atoms with antiprotons and antineutrons form metals with positron current flow but no particles of our matter universe must be present.

 

Offline chris

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Could we make a circuit of flowing muons?
« Reply #3 on: 23/06/2010 23:36:55 »
What's a muon? Presumably not something that comes out of a cow?
 

Offline lightarrow

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Could we make a circuit of flowing muons?
« Reply #4 on: 25/06/2010 13:33:37 »
What's a muon? Presumably not something that comes out of a cow?
It's an elementary particle almost identical to the electron, but it has 200 times the electron's mass. It's produced in high energy particles interactions, for example from the first impact of cosmic rays (very energetic extraterrestrial particles) with the Earth's atmosphere.

Just as a curiosity: in the 80' muons were studied for a "cold" fusion process: since they are like electrons but 200 times heavier, an hydrogen atom made with a muon instead of an electron would be roughly 200 times smaller (or, anyway, much smaller than the normal H atom). Then, two very hot of such atoms would be 200 times more close to each other in a collision, allowing, in turn, their protons to come much closer; exploiting the quantum mechanical "tunnel effect", the proton's wavefunctions would overlap enough to make the probability of proton's fusion not negligible.

Using a conventional process instead, you have to collide "nude" protons and so their repulsive force is not shielded by other negative particles, as in the atom. For this reason, to overcame the immense repulsion between protons, you have to heat them (the hydrogen plasma) at tens/hundreds millions of C, so that they have a kinetic energy big enough to approach significantly each other, against coulombian repulsion.

All of this in theory. Probably we still don't have sources of muons intense enough to make significant experiments on it.
« Last Edit: 25/06/2010 13:39:29 by lightarrow »
 

Offline Farsight

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Could we make a circuit of flowing muons?
« Reply #5 on: 25/06/2010 15:59:25 »
The muon lifetime is only about a microsecond, whereupon it usually decays into an electron, an electron-antineutrino, and a muon-neutrino. So even if you could get some form of "muon flow circuit" going, it would last long, and you'd be left with electrons.   
 

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Could we make a circuit of flowing muons?
« Reply #5 on: 25/06/2010 15:59:25 »

 

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